October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller's office is collecting donated cell phones to give to victims of domestic violence.
Every nine seconds, a woman is a victim of domestic violence in the United States, according to domesticviolencestatistics.org. A third of those women are killed as a result of violent relationships.
Every other week, Mothers Against Murders holds a meeting where heartbreaking stories are told and tears are shed.
Hanging on the walls are the faces of women in Palm Beach County who have suffered the loss of a child to murder. Among the photos are Fannie Napier and Paula Bowb -- two women who had no connection until they both shared the unfortunate experience of losing a child to domestic violence.
"She will always be my hero," said Bowb.
Paula Bowb lost her daughter, Tonya Raines, in Decemeber 2007, when her daughter's ex-boyfriend held her at gunpoint, forced her into a car and led police on a high speed chase.
"When they got to the car, he had already shot her. He shot her in the head," said Bowb.
She says it wasn't until after her daughter broke up with her boyfriend that she heard of the fear and pain she endured.
"He took an iron and hit her, you know, the kind you iron your clothes with, and broke a broom over her head," said Bowb.
Fannie Napier says it was Thanksgiving night in 2000 when her son, John, was shot by his girlfriend.
"I have to cope with this everyday," said Napier. "I just dreamed about him the other night."
According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, there is help for you. By calling 1-800-500-1119, you can get counseling at any time, 24 hours a day.
If you want to help a victim of domestic violence, you can do so by donating cell phones you no longer use to the self service center on the second floor of the main courthouse in West Palm Beach.
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